Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Suits, Settlements and Silliness

It's always about the money, isn't it? Maybe not, this time.

For an amount rumored to be under $50,000, Ms. Bates has settled her suit against her former friend, Gloria Squitiro. Ms. Squitiro did not even know that her insurer had agreed to the settlement, and is reportedly none too happy with the result. She wanted her proverbial day in court to disprove all the allegations made against her, but, really, that was never going to happen - the court of public opinion reached its verdict long before the facts came in, and this media environment was never going to allow that court to retry that case. If a pro-Gloria version is voiced in the forest, and Tony and Yael don't approve it, does it make a sound?

Does it strike anyone else as strange that the suit continues with the prime defendant on the sidelines?

I hope that attentive readers remember that months ago, at the peak moment of silliness in the so-called Volunteer Ordinance, I wrote "Something has been 'off' about the whole affair. . . . I have way too much respect for Jan Marcason and most of those who supported her to believe that I am seeing the complete picture. . . . As described above, the Bates case, even on its best day, wouldn't justify the expense that Marcason was proposing to spend on consultants and criminal records checks."

At this point, we now have Gloria Squitiro's liability settled, just as I had foreshadowed, for a tiny fraction of the amount the City Council wanted to spend on consultants and records checks. But the case continues on against the City Council!

While I'm confident that Ms. Squitiro is disappointed that the case got settled, I want to point out that somebody here was pretty darned smart with the money, and it most definitely was not the hysterical City Council! If I recall correctly (and I do), the only person who voted against the misguided, ineffective volunteer ordinance was Mayor Funkhouser.

So, if you're keeping score at home, we have Ruth Bates paid, we have Gloria Squitiro safely out of harm's way, and we have the City Council getting sued!

If I were Gloria Squitiro, I would take a few of my no-longer-at-risk dollars and buy a bunch of nice honey crisp apples for the council, and deliver them to their offices as a way of asking "How do you like them apples?".

Folks, it looks like all the game-playing by our squabbling, ineffective City Council has blown up in their faces.

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52 Comments:

Anonymous TROTS said...

This lawsuit isn't over. Gloria's personal liability may have been settled, but the city and the mayor are still on the hook.

11/18/2008 8:46 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

AHHHHHHHH. I see.

The insurance company settles because they think that Squitiro will lose the case;

The original case, a workplace discrimination/hostile environment etc. is still in effect;

depositions will still be taken, and the city looks like it will more than likely lose;

and these depositions look to be building a pretty solid foundation, based upon the initial testimony of Ed Wolf, and more than likely others, of nepotism;

And Dan declares victory for Funkhouser & Squitiro.

*sniff*

11/18/2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You respect Beth too, don't you?

11/18/2008 9:23 AM  
Blogger Phil Cardarella said...

It's about money? ... How crass!

And we all thought this was a noble effort to right great wrongs!

Or -- to any lawyer in the contingency fee business or any insurance company or any plaintiff -- it is actually about the money. Not philosophy, not objective merit. It is like when your auto insurance assigns some of the blame in an accident to you when the other guy ran the red light. Nothing personal, just business. (They then don't have to pursue your deductable.)

This settlement says nothing about the (non-political) merits of the lawsuit, only the costs of defense and the possibility that a suit that gets this much publicity may be rewarded regardless of merit.

I am not actually making a judgment on the merits of what appears to be as much a patronage dispute as a discrimination suit. On the other hand, the plaintiff did take less than half of the policy limits to settle -- which will be deducted from anything the City is ever ordered to pay.

Remind me again: (Not that anybody seems to have asked)What ARE the monetary damages of not being allowed to work at a patronage job with the Mayor & his wife, but being offered a protected merit job in a different department at the same salary? Loss of amusement? $45K should buy a lot of circus tickets.

11/18/2008 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Dan, this is nonsense. The City Council was never a defendant. And as a lawyer, I'd expect you to understand that the "major" defendant is the one with the biggest purse. The Mayor and the City's liability for allowing/enabling Squitiro's behavior doesn't disappear because she's settled.

I'm embarrassed for you watching this display. How about that Jim Wirken, obviously blowing a confidentiality agreement (which undoubtedly did not apply to him, but had to apply to the person who gave him the number)? Talk about fighting it in the press.

I almost hope that Bates rejects the settlement now and Squitiro is forced to go into court and explain why the settlement should be enforced in spite of her bad faith violation of a major term. And I hope she loses. And I hope the insurance company denies her coverage for failure to cooperate. And then she can have her desperately desired day in court. This is beyond absurd and these people are beyond help.

11/18/2008 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Phil,

You make good points about it being a patronage job. But as a matter of public policy, I don't know why anti-discrimination and harassment laws shouldn't apply to those as well. As a practical matter, you've got a point. As a legal matter, not so much.

And getting half of policy limits is a pretty good deal in a case where I assume they've got coverage disputes. $45,000 isn't a "cost of litigation" settlement, even if you're figuring in litigating coverage to the supreme court.

11/18/2008 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks, it looks like all the game-playing by our squabbling, ineffective City Council has blown up in their faces.

Maybe I am missing something. Isn't Gloria paying out 45K?

I mean, if I was accused of harassment and had to personally pay out 45K in a lawsuit, I would think I lost.

Am I missing something?

11/18/2008 11:00 AM  
Anonymous PlazaJen said...

I marvel at your loyalty & dedication to continue defending the mayor & his wife, and to keep harpooning the city council for an ordinance that only came about BECAUSE Squitiro behaved inappropriately, and Funk refuses adamantly to bend one fraction - let alone just do his job without her by his side. Ridiculous. I urge you to step back from the Seurat. It seems to me that all you can see right now is one dot & the bigger picture is one helluva circus.

11/18/2008 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Whistleblowme said...

Anonymous 11:00 - Yes, you are missing something. Go back and read again, and see if you can figure it out.

Dan, you're right that the City Council looks like a bunch of squabbling fools, but Funk looks weak for his inability or unwillingness to work without Gloria.

Right now, the only winners are Gloria and Bates - Gloria's out of the suit, and Bates got $45k for a weak case. Do you think they hatched this plan together?

11/18/2008 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only winners are Gloria

Thats a funny way to be winner, having to pay 45K and all. Man, makes me glad I'm a looser.

11/18/2008 11:27 AM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

let's be clear about this - Gloria's not out of the suit.

Her liability may be limited, but the behavior in the workplace that the city permitted (Funk, et al) is still the issue.

Gloria's behavior will still be a matter considered in the case and depositions.

Unfortunately Dan has such a (intentional) cockeyed stance on this, it's hard to discern what he's really trying to say.

11/18/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous inafunkaboutthefunk said...

She knew... they didn't do this without telling her. You're a laywer and you know this. And she can opt out of the settlement at which point she will be good for the lawyer bills and any amount awarded to Ruth Bates past the settlement offered by her insurance company.

You are a lawyer, right????

11/18/2008 12:46 PM  
Anonymous McCarran & Ferguson said...

The most powerful force for evil may be the irresistible power that forces Gloria to out of city business: The Insurance Industry.

After making this kind of payout, the Funkhouser household will be lucky if their homeowners insurance policy is not canceled. IF this is the case, it will be VERY difficult for the Funkhouser household to secure a new policy, if their old policy is canceled.

In either event, no insurance company is going to want to write a policy which covers Gloria's ongoing liability risk after this little fiasco.

Furthermore, if Funkhouser is running public business out of his house, that is another strike against the household finding a homeowners insurance policy.

The BEST chance that the Funkhousers have to keep or find homeowners insurance coverage is for Gloria to become ... sane.

If Gloria does not cease and desist her quasi-official/official/volunteer/risk-laden role AND if Mark does not stop conducting public business from his private residence, no insurance company will be willing to assume this risk on an ongoing basis.

Without homeowners insurance Mark and Gloria will most likely be foreclosed upon and then they will have no place to live. In addition, since Mark is pouting and not working out of City Hall he will not have a place to live or work.

So Gloria let me give it to you in no uncertain terms, even if you cannot bring yourself to honor the role of democracy in American government, please be smart enough to OBEY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY!

Insurers will always win. They have gone to the crossroad and cut their deal so there is no defeating them on this Earth.

Gloria drop this ugly charade, before the full weight of the insurance industry come crashing down on your (weird but) happy home.

Once the insurance industry got involved the rules changed. Principle ceased to exist. You just have to submit to them. It is the only answer. We write this as a warning from beyond the grave.

DOOM AWAITS!

11/18/2008 6:39 PM  
Anonymous I'm Not With Lumpy said...

Wow, truer words beyond or prior to the grave may never have been spoken.

I believe Messr.'s McCarran and Ferguson when they say the Insurance Industry transcends politics and government.

And practically, regardless of the Insurance Industry's power, who the hell is going to insure "Lumpy the Loose Cannon" anyway? The dumbass broad already cost a house insurance policy $45K for what she did in city hall.

11/18/2008 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Jayhoax said...

Only Dan could look at what happened today and somehow have Gloria come out looking OK....

Face it, Dan, you bash on Yael, but the fact is that without Yael's constant pimping of the Funk in the Star, we'd have Mayor Brooks....

"we have Gloria Squitiro safely out of harm's way"

No, Gloria is not safely out of harm's way, thanks to Funk's stubbornness in suing the City...

"If I were Gloria Squitiro"

If I were Gloria Squitiro, I would be begging and pleading my insurance company not to cancel my policy after they had to shell out $45K for this fiasco.

11/18/2008 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Tired of Funk said...

Kendrick Blackwood, Mayor Funkhouser's new Chief of Staff, called Councilwoman Cindy Circo,
"a blonde bimbo."

Fire the kid. He is in over his head.

11/18/2008 9:25 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

When and where did he say that?

If he said that, he's dumber than I thought he ever could be.

Those effing idiots don't know the hole they are digging themselves when they malign good people.

11/18/2008 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Ward 10 said...

I just got off the phone with someone who told me that Kendrick Blackwood attacked Councilwoman Circo in an interview with The Call today. He called her a "blonde bimbo."

Dan, when is this going to end? One stupid statement out of the KC's Parliament Funkadelic after another.

11/18/2008 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Dan must be drunk, I found this write up of what happened:

"Mayor Mark Funkhouser's Chief of Staff, Kendrick Blackwood, in an interview with a local newspaper which serves the African American community, appears to have played the race card in a clumsey way today, by calling Councilwoman Cindy Circo a 'Blonde Bimbo.'

The verbal attack made in an interview with the Kansas City Call is generally viewed as a amateurish attempt to rally support among African Americans against a White councilwoman who the Mayor opposes on several political issues.

Last week, the Mayor removed Councilwoman Circo from a committee chair which deals with housing issues and replaced her with an Councilwoman Sharon Saunders Brooks, who is African American.

It is interesting to note that Mayor Funkhouser has had very poor relations with the African American Community, and other Communities of Color, in Kansas City since taking office in mid-2007.

Political sources are calling this 'a ham-fisted attempt to introduce race into a political vendetta which the Mayor holds for Councilwoman Circo.'

The introduction of this kind of race-tainted and sexist vitriol to an African American newspaper seems to confirm this viewpoint.

One political activist said, 'Funkhouser is playing with fire and he needs to be removed from office before he hurts himself or others."

11/18/2008 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan,

$45,000 is over one year's pay for Ruth.

That is actually a decent settlement for her. Contrary to what you see on TV, most settlements or verdicts are in this range.

The big multi million dollar settlements usually involve a class of thousands of people.

Ms. Bates probably would not have gotten much more from Gloria even if Ruth won in court.

So I don't understand why you are boasting so much.

11/18/2008 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, you are an idiot. As others have noted, the Council was never sued. Ruth sued the City of Kansas City (that is all of us who live here -- not just the Council), the Mayor (individually as the person responsible for his office) and the co-Mayor Gloria. Get your facts straight before you pat your own back. This whole mess could have been avoided except for the stubborness of the Mayor. Even friends like Ed Wolf, Everett Asjes, Jeff Simon, Jim Nutter and now Joe Miller have thrown in the towel. You, Carderella and Blackwood are what's left. A very pathetic trio.

New name: Dan the Moron!

11/18/2008 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the lawsuit.

http://www.nbcactionnews.com/media/news/9/b/5/9b516753-e170-4704-af4a-4ce23fcf95db/Bates_Vs_KCMO.pdf

I don't see the city council mentioned anywhere.

11/18/2008 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several years ago I was in a position that compelled me to file an EEOC case against a major KC Corporation. This is not something most people do without serious contemplation. When you file an EEOC complaint, you know that you are also putting yourself on trial and you know that you will be judged, not only by the system, but by all of the people involved, and in some cases, the press and the general public.

From my experience, the "Mammy" and "Bernie Mac" comments are not isolated incidents, but perhaps part of a pervasive attitude that existed within the Mayor's office, or we would not be having this public discussion of private pain.

Dan, you cannot possibly understand what it is like to be a woman in the corporate world, much less a black woman.

In my opinion, Ruth Bates is a very brave woman, she is standing up for her principles. It is not acceptable to be treated as a second class citizen in the workplace because your skin is darker, or because you are female.

It is especially egregious that this occurred in an "ELECTED OFFICIAL'S" office.

It will be extremely difficult for Ruth to secure another comparable position in this town. And I do not agree that another position within the same organization that violated her basic rights was an acceptable alternative.

I am very sad that you think that any of this is political. It is not. Women in this country are not treated as equals, in pay (which I can prove) or respect, which I know.

I am not a minority, but I have been deeply saddened and embarassed the last few months, because it is painfully obvious that there are many many Americans who are too ignorant and afraid to face their own insecurities.

11/18/2008 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is now clear to everyone why Dan no longer practices law.

11/19/2008 12:05 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow - lots of personal attacks here! I must be challenging people to think about this more than they prefer.

I do want to take a moment and reply to the most thoughtful and thought-provoking comment, though, by Anonymous at 11:39.

My criticism of the council and pleasure with the settlement does not and is not intended to diminish the importance or validity of ANYONE's EEOC complaint. An alert reader might notice that I have never publicly commented on the merits of Ruth Bates' claims. How would I know?

You, as a person who has experience with the process, tend to believe the alleged victim. I respect and accept your bias.

My own experience leads me to believe that a complete understanding of the truth is not found in newspapers, blogs or courtrooms.

(As for the Blackwood thing, I do not believe it is true, and no citation is provided. It's easy to make up anonymous lies and post them on blogs. For the record, though, Circo is not a bimbo of any sort.)

11/19/2008 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record Dan, Kendrick made that comment to Eric Wesson at the Call.

Kendrick made the statement to him that Cindy Circo was a "blonde bimbo".

The mayor and the mayor's chief of staff are applying cheap, poorly thought-out tactics to racially divide Kansas City further. Replacing Circo with Sanders-Brooks is another perfect example - and we all know there are more.

Feel free to cite this, Dan.

11/19/2008 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Whistleblowme said...

Where's the cite? The Call doesn't have it. I think you're lying.

Anonymous commenters lie all the time. It's easy.

11/19/2008 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey whistleblowme, no one cares what you think.

This story is all over - and I mean ALL over town.

The Funk Admin really screwed up. Again.

11/19/2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical mob rule shit. Unsubstantiated rumors, spread far, become true because people are stupid enough to fall for it.

Grow up, people.

Or at least develop a sense of shame.

11/19/2008 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on Funkhouser and Kendrick Blackwood. Why would Blackwood tell a newspaper that Cindy Circo is a "blonde bimbo".

Very crass and unprofessional. Maybe Kendrick's been talking with Jeff Roe.

11/19/2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like the powers that be have a coordinated campaign to anonymously slander Kendrick. Pathetic politics.

Have they no shame?

11/19/2008 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despicable.

11/19/2008 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Wow - lots of personal attacks here! I must be challenging people to think about this more than they prefer.

Or, they've figured out that the best way to get you to respond to them is to call you a name, rather than to explain in detail why you might be deserving of the insult.

So, if you're keeping score at home, we have Ruth Bates paid, we have Gloria Squitiro safely out of harm's way, and we have the City Council getting sued!

I'm keeping score at home, Dan. On two different cards. One says Bates 1 - Squitiro 0. The other one has Dan's Devotion to Funkhouser 7 - Dan's Dignity 0. The City Council isn't being sued. Anyone following the story can figure that out. Any lawyer has the skills to figure that out.

And here you are straining to make some point about how the council wanted to waste money in a version of the ordinance that was never adopted and Funkhouser had the wisdom to veto an ordinance that didn't have the money wasting provision in it and somehow this all means that Gloria gets to have some lame ass "hows them apples?" moment with the city council because they're still being sued, but (drum roll, please) they're not being sued.

Folks, it looks like all the game-playing by our squabbling, ineffective City Council has blown up in their faces.

I called this "nonsense" before, but I'll use stronger politically incorrect terms in the hopes of gaining your attention -- it's fucking retarded.

Lastly, I'll register my vote with the "stop smearing Blackwood" crowd. Source your shit or stop running around pretending it's more than a rumor.

11/19/2008 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Source: Eric Wesson, The Call.

If poor, poor Kendrick thinks he's getting unfair treatment, he can come on this blog and clear the air, and say "I didn't say that".

And for all of you posers "defending" Kendrick, I say: shut up.

11/19/2008 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great source, but not true. I looked over at the Call, and it isn't there. Anonymous attacks aren't bolstered by attaching a name without showing where the accusation was made.

Sorry, asshole, but I have to call you a liar. Obama told me that.

11/19/2008 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:37: Keep saying it's not true. This is the talk of the town, and not just this blog. You're not going to win anybody over with your "it's not true!" blather.

I have discussed this issue with real people throughout all of today and last night, in addition to posting on this blog.

The Funkhouser Administration's vendetta against Circo is pissing off either all the right people or all the wrong people, depending upon your point of view.

11/19/2008 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

Sophia - Wow, you're normally one of the sane ones around here. You certainly can't handle Dan's truth today, can you?

Actually, the truth lies between you and Dan - neither of you is completely correct. The City Council, as the leadership organization of the City, is very much a part of the suit, though they are not named defendants. But they have been the ones unsuccessfully seeking to settle it, and managing the litigation, so they are, in fact, the ones running the defense. Gloria is no longer defending the suit, and the City Council is. So Dan's right about that, and you're right about who is technically named.

And then you get to the name-calling again. Okay, I think Dan wins that one outright. I admire him for not deleting your intemperate behavior, but perhaps he prefers to show how far off the deep end you've jumped.

As for the attempts to anonymously smear Blackwood, the fact that you claim you've been doing it for 24 hours doesn't add a whole lot of credibility, nor does the fact that you claim a reporter said it when the reporter has published no such thing, nor does the fact that other people allegedly have been doing it, nor does the fact that a person too cowardly to attach his name to the accusation insists that it's true, nor does the fact that you tell those who seek evidence to "shut up". That is, to borrow two terms from earlier commentators, pathetic and despicable.

Finally, as for

11/19/2008 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's only pathetic and despicable if you're in the bunker.

But Kendrie could clear everything up - given the furor going on in City Hall yesterday and today over this. If he is innocent he damn well better come clean, because this blog is tame compared to what is being said in the real world.

The Funkhouser Klan has decided to pick on the wronnnnnng person.

11/19/2008 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Anon rumor-mongering twit,

Should I assume that you're too lazy to come up with a handle, or should I assume that absolutely every anonymous post spreading the Blackwood Bimbo story is the same guy? I'm going with the latter. "Posers"? I'm not posing about anything. I see an active effort to smear a guy and no evidence to back up the smear. You can think of it as a "defense" of Blackwood if you want. I think it's a "defense" of the truth.

The Circo situation doesn't need a "bimbo" storyline to be taken seriously. And the last thing we need is anonymous rumor-mongers in charge of the news cycle. If The Call reports the story, then Blackwood should respond.

11/19/2008 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Reason said...

If the bunker is the only place where repeating vicious smears without evidence is viewed as despicable and pathetic, please let me in!

Really, people, stop and think about what you're doing. This is anonymous gossip's worst face. Shame on you for playing that game.

What do you hope to gain?

11/19/2008 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Actually, the truth lies between you and Dan - neither of you is completely correct. The City Council, as the leadership organization of the City, is very much a part of the suit, though they are not named defendants. But they have been the ones unsuccessfully seeking to settle it, and managing the litigation, so they are, in fact, the ones running the defense. Gloria is no longer defending the suit, and the City Council is. So Dan's right about that, and you're right about who is technically named.

Ok, this is just bizarre. So Gloria's insurance company settles without her permission, but the council has been unable to settle despite wanting to, so this equals Gloria wins and the Mayor was right to veto the ordinance! Does that really make sense to you?

The Council isn't being sued. The suit does not involve allegations of wrongdoing by the council. The lawsuit is in no way based on the actions of the Council or the City, for that matter, other than through the Mayor. It's all a Funkhouser/Squitiro mess. That the council has some responsibility in helping attend to the mess doesn't put them in shoes equal to that of the Mayor and his wife.

Wasn't there a mid 5 figure settlement offer made in the summer that failed because Squitiro refused to leave the office? How do we know that Bates would have accepted the Squitiro settlement absent the council's action banning her continuing presence in the office? Is there no accounting for the political difficulty of the City settling and Funkhouser remaining as the lone defendant? Dan's entire post continues to be a nonsensical attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

And then you get to the name-calling again. Okay, I think Dan wins that one outright. I admire him for not deleting your intemperate behavior, but perhaps he prefers to show how far off the deep end you've jumped.

Kingsfield, dear sir, you, are a fucking retard. I just wanted you to take a moment to feel like a "winner" before I address your point.

I did not call Dan names before, so that could not be an "again." I pointed out that Dan responded to people who called him names but not to me, who pointed out some flaws with his post without calling him names. I snarkily upped my categorization of his argument from "nonsense" to "fucking retarded" in an open attempt to draw his attention since he seems drawn to posts with insults in them.

For the record, my descriptors were describing the quality of his argument, but in your case I made it about you so that you could have extra bonus "winner" points on the "clean language card" you turn over to your grandmother every week.

Intemperately yours,

Sophia

11/19/2008 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Unreason said...

Eric Wesson told someone I know who told a friend who told me that Sophia called Dan a poopyhead and a fartface, and me and my girlfriends gabbed about it all night at a sleepover, so it must be true.

Totally.

11/19/2008 2:56 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Bravo! Sophia.

A random thought:

If I was a city council person, why would I want Funkhouser to settle? City council people, while not the center of this lawsuit, may have influence is deciding to settle on behalf of the city.

If Funkhouser is anyway coerced to settle he will maintain forever more he has been unfairly wronged, and that he was denied due process and railroaded. There will always be a small iota (very very small) of doubt as to whether he was guilty.

If Funkhouser is honest, he mainstains he will vindicate himself, minimizing the potential total cost of this fiasco to the city.

In this way of thinking, I would not press for a settlement if I was a city council member.

11/19/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Mainstream,

I would hope that our representatives on the council would seek legal counsel from the city attorney's office as to potential exposure in the case and act accordingly based on that advice. I really have no respect for someone who would act contrary to their public duty to achieve some potential short term political gain.

It's one thing to look at Funkhouser and consider that if he insists on pursuing this path, he's dead in the water. It's another thing entirely to clear the path for him.

Your cynicism is fairly typical of the sort of idiotic thinking that leaves us so frequently without adequate representation. I don't care what secret aspirations the council members harbor, as long as their actions are consistent with the public interest. I'm comfortable that they've done that so far.

11/19/2008 9:27 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

OUCH!!!

I think you called me an idiot, but I'm not sure.

What is in the public interest in this exact situation, Sophia? Justice, cost minimization, or a combination of both?

The fiduciary obligation to minimize financial risk is independent of and not related to the seeking of justice.

11/19/2008 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fiduciary obligation to minimize financial risk is independent of and not related to the seeking of justice."

that is correct. right now, those two ideas are adverse and have created a conflict of interest for Funk.

Kansas Citians are pissed becuase Funk's interest in keeping his wife at his side 24-7 outweighs the importance "a city that works". He made all these campaign promises but I don't remember one of them being "I will make sure that every detail of my office involves Gloria - even if her behavior exposes the city to liability".

If he can't "run his office" without his wife in the room then he's not equipped for a leadership position.

A true leader would be able to adapt to adverse situations and place the needs of a city in potential financial crisis ahead of his own desires.
His lack of flexibility as a thinker and negotiator is astounding. His inability to see the innappropriatness of his wife's behavior is distrubing.

I guess when I voted for Funk I had no idea that a grown man would behave this way.

11/20/2008 12:37 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This is great - something like an intelligent conversation has broken out here, thanks to some wise questioning by Mainstream, and Sophia's return from demonic possession. Good work, cyber-friends.

The key is focusing on the public interest. In the short term, the public interest would be served by telling Gloria to stay home and settling at a reasonable figure with Bates. In the longer term, though, such action would deprive Funk of his most trusted advisor, would establish a precedent of the council getting to make staffing decisions for the Mayor. Whatever you think of the weak Mayor/strong Mayor governance models, making Gloria stay home would create a pawn Mayor, and, seriously, nobody should want that structure, no matter how much you dislike Funkhouser.

It sounds like the anonymous gossips have now decided to anonymously slander Kendrick Blackwood. Should the council get to fire him, too?

By the way, it's true, as some commenters have pointed out, that the City Council is not named in the suit, though their involvement in every facet of it and their incessant focus on it demonstrates that my sloppy language at least conveyed the sense of the situation. They are very much in the suit.

11/20/2008 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying Beth is ineffective, along with the rest of the Council? Or just that the Council is ineffective as a whole?

11/20/2008 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

”In the longer term, though, such action would deprive Funk of his most trusted advisor, would establish a precedent of the council getting to make staffing decisions for the Mayor.”

And,,,,, when talking about Blackwood, Dan writes; “Should the council get to fire him, too?”

NEPOTISM

No recall petition is needed. The concerned citizens of KC just need to get the Missouri AG to act on their behalf. The Missouri Constitution is clear. Nepotism results in forfeiture of office.

11/20/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Disappointed by the orange revolution so far said...

"establish a precedent of the council getting to make staffing decisions for the Mayor"

Why isn't the Mayor suing the state then too? The state constitution is telling him who he can and can't hire as paid staff. Same logic. And with his previous whining about taking a pay cut to do this job, you'd think he'd actually be more worked up about that one.

11/20/2008 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Kingsfield said...

Last two commentators - if the nepotism thing is the problem, and it's already in the Constitution, Funkhouser was completely correct that the anti-Volunteer Ordinance was a complete waste of time. Right?

11/20/2008 9:59 AM  
Blogger ender said...

Great post Dan, this makes me believe in blogging.

11/20/2008 2:03 PM  

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